Why Amazon Just Loves Exploring Stupid Ideas.

515092669_ac783fe224_bRon Popiel once warned us (but apparently not Amazon): “The problem with buttons is they always fall off.” But we just never learn.

And Amazon never gives up. They announced this week the release of an entirely new hoard of Dash Buttons. And while even the most optimistic person can quickly see that the idea of having a house full of Dash Buttons is ridiculous, Amazon just keeps rolling out the idea… and new buttons.

Today I received an email from Amazon promoting more than 100 buttons from big name brands like Arm & Hammer and Ziploc and Red Bull and Bounty. Seriously, 100+ buttons, as if somehow this is more efficient than making a list or sticking up post-it notes. And BTW, I can also tell Alexa to just keep the list for me, but that is another story for another post.

So what is Amazon really up to? Have they gone soft in the head… or is there something else at play here?

“This year we’ve been focused on rapidly growing the Dash Button program in every dimension,” said Daniel Rausch, director of Amazon Dash.

And the data confirms that indeed, consumers are actually bellying up to the bar and buying these $5 buttons. Do the math, if you buy all 100 buttons, you just sank $500 into buttons; that’s quite a valuable collection! But the data also confirms that no one is using them; well, less than half of the owners are using them to order products. As for the brands for whom the buttons toll, the toll is 15%+.

So what is really going on here?

I suppose you cannot blame Amazon for doing everything it can do to invade our homes and learn more about our personal lifestyles. Together with Google, they have everything but our DNA… or do they?

But what about the brands and consumers buying into this half-baked scheme? What is their motivation? I have no explanation. My best guess is that Americans just like buttons… kind of like Beanie Babies and Pet Rocks. Is that possible?

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.